It almost pains me to bring up the fact that summer is coming to close. Over the next few weeks I hope you soak up all it has to offer.
As you adjust to the change of season you may ponder what needs to be done around the yard. Fall is about more than just raking the leaves. Fall is a great time to make additions to your yard to enjoy in future months and for years to come.
Most people get excited to plant things in the spring but fall is the best time to plant trees and shrubs. It is during this time that trees and shrubs stop putting their energy into growing the parts we see and switch to focusing on root growth. This makes it the ideal time to plant trees and shrubs so they can be well-established come the following summer’s heat.
You will need to plant prior to the soil temp dropping below 55 degrees Fahrenheit at six inches, which in this area usually means you have until mid-October.
An added bonus to purchasing trees and shrubs in the fall is they are often on sale and perhaps best of all, you can see what the foliage looks like in the fall. If you want to add some fall color to your yard shopping when the leaves have begun to turn makes it much easier to preview what you’re getting.
For best results you’ll want to dig a hole twice as wide as the pot or root ball of the tree, this large hole will encourage establishment of lateral root growth. Many people dig a hole that is too narrow and too deep, the upper-most root should be just beneath the soil. If the roots are tangled together, loosen and straighten them as best you can.
After you’ve got you tree planted watering it is super important. It is easy to forget when it isn’t hot that your new tree is still thirsty. A little splash now and then isn’t going to cut it. A new tree will need a gallon of water for each inch of trunk diameter per week. A four inch trunk means four gallons of water per week until the ground freezes.
Some trees benefit from being wrapped to prevent damage from frost, sun, and animals. This can be done in November. Mulching around the base will help with moisture retention and prevent the soil from heaving as the temperature fluctuates. If you decide to wrap you trees, remember to remove it in March.
We’ve got kids, so our schedule often revolves around the school calendar. If yours does too, think of it this way, plant before MEA, water until frozen, wrap and mulch by Thanksgiving, remove wrap by spring break.
If you take the time this fall to correctly add a tree to your yard this fall you can reap the rewards for years to come. Happy Planting!